Manatee club applauds state, feds for agreeing to emergency feeding as mammals die off
The Save the Manatee Club applauded state and federal wildlife authorities Monday night for their staff-level agreement for a trial, emergency feeding of Central Florida manatees at risk of starvation as winter months approach.
The group's executive director, Patrick Rose, said the agreement, with myriad details yet to be determined, came a week ago based on last winter's wave of manatee deaths along Central Florida's portion of the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County.
The lagoon system is suffering a pollution-driven ecosystem collapse, which has wiped out nearly all of the seagrass beds that manatees depend on for foraging.
Rose said he fears manatees in the area are malnourished and at risk of starvation with the onset of winter cold snaps that stress the animals.
Officials at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission could not be reached for comment.
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